ISLAMABAD, (Pakistan Point News - APP - 25th july,2016) : Delegates of Pakistan US Alumni Network (PUAN) International Conference on Monday visited Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) and lauded its learning system that mainly benefit the people from remote regions, particularly females. The delegates including from regional countries showed keen interest in the University's education system and noted that it had major contribution in enhancing literacy and coping with the educational needs of drop-out students.
Vice Chancellor Prof. Dr. Shahid Siddiqui while welcoming the delegates said that the University was focusing on meaningful education and applied research that benefit the society and help to address the country's socio-economic problems. They, he said feel excited that major chunk of their enrolled students are females, mostly from far-flung areas including those from tribal regions who otherwise could not join formal education due to social and financial constraints.
A number of female students from tribal regions who were present on the occasion acknowledged the University's leading role in meeting their educational needs at the door-steps. Dr. Shahid Siddiqui briefed the delegates about the recent initiative taken by the University offering academic support to religious institutions. He also highlighted the financial support being extended to IDPs' students, physically handicapped and those affected by natural disaster.
Scholarships amounting to around Rs. 12 million are being offered annually to the deserving students. The University, he added is also providing free education to marginalized section of the society, including prisoners and disabled persons. As a gesture towards visually impaired students, an `Accessibility Center' has been set up at the University's main Campus to facilitate them in their educational pursuits. About the education to seminaries' students, Dr.
Shahid Siddiqui said they will provide them academic support for accreditation and equivalence of their B.A and M.A level degrees. The students will be able to enroll themselves with AIOU for the study of compulsory subjects at graduate level including English Pakistan Studies, the decision to this effect was taken at a meeting held under the chairmanship of Minister of State for Education Muhammad Balighur Rehman in presence ofrepresentatives of Wafaq-ul-Madaris and Higher Education Commission.
It was agreed that that every possible support including books and tutorial workshops will be provided by the AIOU to the enrolled students. Dr. Shahid Siddiqui said the seminaries' students will be facilitated in the admission and examination process. They will fully support the initiative being carried out by the government for Madaris reforms so as to bring them into mainstream. The University will arrange the academic courses that help the students to qualify compulsory/elective subjects of Bachelor level.
It will also adopt credible mechanism for conducting exams for the Madaras's students. The fee structure for the students of Madaris will be normal as per AIOU policy.The needy students will be provided financial assistance in shape of scholarships, as well.Text books and tutorial support will be provided by the University. Admissions will be offered twice a year. The Vice Chancellor further said that they had been in negotiation with HEC for the last six months for the AIOU's role in arranging better educational facilities to the Madrass' students in order to bring their academic degrees at par with normal educational institutions.
He hoped that thousands of students of Wafaq-ul-Madaris will take benefit of these arrangements. The AIOU will be starting its new admission from August one, and these students could availed the opportunity to take the admission in their relevant programs, he added. Head of International collaboration exchange office Zahid Majeed briefed the delegates about academic programmes being offered by the University to foreign students.